Ecommerce as the Ultimate Change Agent Makes the Complex Simple and the Simple Complex

Ten years ago, Jeffrey Kluger wrote a mind-stretching book entitled Simplexity. The concept behind the theory – that things that seem complicated can be astoundingly simple; things that seem simple can be dizzyingly complex – has become relatively mainstream, particularly among marketing types. Kluger frequently explores relationships between common and sometimes not so common entities, and delivers a thesis for each comparison that is often unexpected. A simple guppy is compared to the majesty of a star – Kluger writes, “We’re suckers for scale…things that last for a long time impress us more than things that don’t.” Seems true. But take a minute and think about it, and you’ll agree the anatomical makeup of the guppy is far more complex and impressive than a star billions of years old that does pretty much nothing.

In the scheme of things, an entity that has been around forever due to its sheer size and makeup from its origin, doesn’t make it meaningful, and definitely doesn’t ensure future success. It’s not much of a leap to apply that same logic to businesses, and to observe what’s happening to retail shops that can’t get out of their old ways. Macy’s, Kmart, Sears…closing big footprint stores because the discount game didn’t work and Amazon Prime did. Which boards of directors and management teams ignores the Internet? Macy’s, Kmart and Sears. Incomprehensible and utterly avoidable, but they remain stuck to their ways and are losing the war.

The buy/sell consideration continuum has changed, and relies on evolving tools like customer analytics and actionable data for success in 2017. Best to seek-out strategic thinking that forces you to examine your business with fresh eyes, and challenge the status quo within your business.

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